Roster Synching: Staff Uploading Assignments on Behalf of Students

Sometimes there will be circumstance where a tutor or administrator may have an assignment emailed to them for uploading into Turnitin. Turnitin allows you to upload on behalf of an enrolled students which is jolly fabulous. However it is important not to forget that in between you setting up the Turnitin Assignment Box additional students may have been added to the WebCT Grade Book. So moral of this story is when in doubt and

A student says, “I can’t upload my assignment because I can’t see it” – you probably need to Roster Synch in the Turnitin Assignment

You’ve received an emailed assignment for uploading into Turnitin for online marking. You scratch your head as you can’t find the student. You check the WebCT Grade Book and that’s fine, so… Roster Synch and your missing student will appear

The End


Don’t change the Grade Mark Post Date when Anon Marking is Taking Place!!

Argggh. If you change the Post Date (to reveal names) while anonymously marking is being undertaken comments and grade disappear and can cause you heart palpitations. Changing the the Post Date back restores order to the university but may cause problems writing grades to WebCT Grade Book and student viewing.

Furthermore there seems (after much valient work being done by the Central E-Learning Heros) to be a variable  time lag in writing to the Grade Book when you you change the post date. So moral of this story is:

  • Don’t fiddle with the Post Date (ie when student’s can see their feedback and grades) whilst marking is taking place
  • Be paranoid and put the grade (in addition) into the General Comments field
  • And relax and breathe out slowly

Grrrr, Turnitin Grade Mark sluggish using Internet Explorer

Turnitin Grade Mark has been sluggish or not loading on and off when using IE over the last month. Works fine on Chrome, Safari, Firefox.

Seems this has been a long term thing with IE:

Unable to submit files: timeout and error messages

As of May 3, 2011, Turnitin is experiencing issues that involved timeout and error messages which state ‘The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading’.  This is a UK wide Turnitin problem which is being investigated by the Turnitin UK support team.  Unfortunately, there is nothing that we can do at Imperial College to fix this.  It has been reported that most of the issues occur when people try to submit papers using Internet Explorer.  With this in mind, it is recommended that you submit papers with Firefox or Google Chrome. 

Turnitin Boxes with Large Classess

With anonymous marking enabled and 400 students / 6 markers you have some options:

Option A (the winner)

  • setting up 6 individual boxes per assessment
  • selective release the boxes per group
Implications: Each of the 6 boxes will synch to the whole 400 students – the admin staff need to be happy with this as it interfaces with their process of chasing up / noting non submissions / extensions
Option B
  • setting up 8 additional WebCT sections that contain the Turnitin boxes and associated materials
  • enroll the student subgroups and staff members to each section

Peer Mark trial

Well we were brave and trialled Peer mark with a cohort of 130 students in Nov/Dec. Based within an academic skills module this activity was designed to provide students with the opportunity to gain some feedback on their academic writing before submitting summative pieces of work for the majority of modules.

Students were asked to write 750 words (with accompanying bibliography) on a topic of their choice around the theme of:

“Evaluating X within X sport”

Once the base assignment was submitted I then set up the Peer Mark assignment (stage 2). Initially my brain jumped and I attached it to the wrong assignment (but that was sorted really quickly).  We decided to ask students to provide feedback and a notional grade to one other assignment. Peer Mark allocated these without a hitch. During the set up Peer Mark asks you to set up some questions to help focus the student. The sample questions provided are fabulous and we used most of them along with some additional ones related to the Undergraduate Marking Rubric.

On reflection next time I would:

  • provide more time for reflection and integration into class discussion
  • ask students to Peer Mark two assignment (provides more of an indication of achievement than one)